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Women’s basketball anticipates game-by-game improvement in 3-point shooting

Freshman guard Charisma Osborne is tied for most minutes on No. 11 UCLA women’s basketball, with 76 through three games. Her 14 3-point attempts so far are also a team high, but with only four made, her 3-point percentage is 28.6%. (Niveda Tennety/Assistant Photo editor)

By Dylan Dsouza

Nov. 18, 2019 10:46 p.m.

The Bruins have been firing on all cylinders to start off the season.

Except one.

No. 11 UCLA women’s basketball (3-0) has begun the season shooting 22.9% from 3-point range, down from 30.6% last season and 33.9% the year before. Despite winning by an average of 32.4 points per game, the Bruins’ opponents are shooting a higher percentage from deep than they are.

“I don’t really worry as much if they go in as much as whether they’re good shots or not,” said coach Cori Close. “I’m much more worried about, ‘Has the ball been reversed, and has the ball touched the paint (before a 3-point attempt)?'”

Close said she would like to see her team average around 18 to 19 3-point attempts a game, down from the current average of 23.3.

Three of the Bruins’ top seven 3-point shooters from last season – then-senior guard Kennedy Burke, then-redshirt senior forward Lajahna Drummer and then-freshman guard Ahlana Smith – are no longer with the team.

Redshirt senior guard Japreece Dean – who missed the first two games of the season because of her redshirt contract – was the Bruins’ leader in 3-point conversions with 57 and 3-point percentage at 35.2% last season. She missed all six of her 3-point attempts in her season debut against Long Beach State on Thursday.

Redshirt sophomore guard Lindsey Corsaro – who was second on the team in 3-point makes with 40 and 3-point percentage at 34.5% last season – has started the season 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.

“We had talked about, ‘Let’s hunt for the perfect shot,’” Corsaro said after UCLA’s game against Loyola Marymount. “’Let’s try to get the best shot we can, so let’s not maybe shoot as many threes early.’ We did a good job of picking and choosing our shots better.”

Redshirt junior guard Natalie Chou and freshman guard Charisma Osborne both lead the team with four 3-point makes.

Osborne – a five-star recruit rated as the 10th best high school player in the nation last year – leads the team in 3-point attempts, with 14, and is tied for first in minutes played, with 76.

Fellow freshman guard Jaden Owens – who was ranked as the 14th overall prospect last year – has yet to convert a shot from deep after 10 attempts. In her junior season of high school, she made 82 3-pointers en route to being named the District 6-6A co-offensive player of the year.

“I don’t think our numbers are indicative of our capability,” Close said.

The 3-point shooting has improved from game to game, from 17.9% to 25.0% to 26.9%. Last season, the Bruins also improved their 3-point shooting throughout the season. They shot 30.6% from deep in the entire season but 35.7% during conference play.

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Dylan Dsouza | Alumnus
Dsouza joined The Bruin as a freshman in 2016 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the women's basketball, men's basketball, women's tennis, men's tennis and women's volleyball beats.
Dsouza joined The Bruin as a freshman in 2016 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the women's basketball, men's basketball, women's tennis, men's tennis and women's volleyball beats.
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